Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Where egos dare

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 03 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:49
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Freud’s detractors, who are perhaps now more numerous than his disciples, consider that he played fast and loose with the evidence, and founded a quasi-religious sect in which he used anathema and denunciation of heresy rather than argument to maintain his priestly control. Yet even they are constrained to admire him as a writer; and no fair-minded person could deny him the status of highly cultivated and well educated man, of the kind that is rarely to be encountered nowadays.

    Of all his books, Civilization and Its Discontents is the one that is most likely to draw the praise of non-Freudians. Published in 1930, not long before the European and world cataclysm, it tells us that civilisation, …

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